Former banker and presidential aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-deen, says he is in the race to change the character and complexion of Nigerian politics. Hayatu-deen said he was not a career politician, but only out to save the country from collapse, if elected president.
He made the assertions on Sunday in Lagos during an interactive session with media executives.
Hayatu-deen said as an economist he knew what was needed to kick-start the economy and ensure Nigerians smiled again.
He regretted the current killings in the country, saying it started in a part of Borno State, but has now enveloped the wh
The aspirant added that bandits and ISWAP insurgents controlled areas about 40 kilometres outside major cities in the north. He lamented that Nigerians were only safer in the cities but in the villages, poor and vulnerable citizens, mainly children and women, were being killed.
Hayatu-deen said in the 80s and 90s, Nigerians used to shed tears whenever they heard that limbs were being cut in countries like Sierra Leone or when they heard about the genocide in Rwanda.
“But today, we heard deaths in 50s and 60s, which is quite mind-boggling,” he stated. “This is unacceptable and we have to deal with this.”
Hayatu-deen added, “And I can tell you that even if you increase the strength of the military by three, you will only be scratching the surface. We must not mistake the symptoms for the cause and that is why we have to look at the issue holistically and solve it once and for all.”
He stated that for Nigeria to successfully deal with insecurity, it would must create “economic, social as well as gender security”.
Hayatu-deen said, “We are a country of 210 million people and from global statistics, Nigeria is one of the highest growing countries in the world if not the highest growing.”
He said there was nothing wrong with this if the country had the wherewithal to cater for the soaring population.
According to him, “High population on its own is not bad as long as the country is ready to cater for the growing population. But the problem here is that we do not have any provision for these young Nigerians. As at now, we have over 170 million young Nigerians.”
He said there was a connection between insecurity and the growing army of able-bodied young men and women who were not adequately catered for.
Hayatu-deen also spoke on the question of gender security, saying, “Our women are hardworking and doing a lot of things, both for the society and the family. We need to encourage them and ensure they reach their peak. That glass ceiling has to be broken and allow them to reach the top.”
On his chances as an aspirant for the PDP presidential ticket, Hayatu-deen jokingly said he knew he was the rookie among the many career politicians jostling for the ticket. But he added that he drew inspiration from the likes of French President Emmanuel Macron, who, as investment banker, took the French political space by storm and won the presidency at less than 40 years of age.
The former managing director and chief executive officer of FSB International Bank believed a non-career politician could challenge the status quo and win. He said he was confident of victory in the race and equally sure of PDP’s victory.
He then challenged the media to play its role and ensure that the best candidates emerged in both parties.
Hayatu-deen stated, “The media has a lot of role to play in sensitising delegates in both parties to ensure they pick the right candidates. You have to do this for us and ensure that Nigeria is rescued.”
He said he would not accept any appointment even if his party won the election next year.
“My aim is to help my nation. No one would accuse me of being a bystander and didn’t join in trying to salvage the nation when it was burning. My father admonished me to see Nigeria as the centre of my universe and that is what it has been. I really love this nation,” Hayatu-deen declared.